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Connecting the Dots in Design for Environment

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t.alex
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Re: consumer education
t.alex   7/2/2014 9:46:25 AM
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Hailey, that makes a lot of sense. When there is a strong demand for the skills and knowledge, people will immediately go for it.

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Re: conflicting things
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   6/25/2014 9:37:14 AM
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And here's one from Ghandi: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result."

Occam Advocate
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Re: conflicting things
Occam Advocate   6/24/2014 10:48:33 PM
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Sad but true. Truth is that few who alive today are likely to see (or suffer) the effects of our collective actions and inaction today. But that should not deter anyone from trying.

Edmund Burke put it into perspective the best for me when he left us the following thought: "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little"  

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Re: conflicting things
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   6/24/2014 4:50:36 PM
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I recently read through an APICs study that made the point that most organizations don't incentivize for their sustainablity iniatives. Instead people are rewarded for cost savings, on time delivery and the like. When push comes to shove then  people tend to do what will get them rewarded. That is just human nature as you said.

Occam Advocate
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Re: conflicting things
Occam Advocate   6/24/2014 1:20:35 PM
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That is a tough question to answer. 

I believe that most people and even OEMs want to do the right thing and both have the power to effect some positive changes. However, what they perceive is the  "right thing" might be on a case by case basis is another matter altogether.

That said, the OEM should be the easier of the two to effect change as they are, for the most part, in the drivers seat. Still, for the OEM the bottom line "right thing" typically is increasing shareholder value (i.e. increasing profits... and the bottom line). Morality issues are only become matters of concern when they begin to impact the bottom line for whatever reason (e.g. negative public perception and/or reaction).

In the case of printers being discussed, it is not much different than the case for phones. Give away or sell at low or no profit margin the phone and charge for the much higher margin service. Profit is profit. Only regulations or consumption taxes, which free market business abhors, can drive significant change for most I suspect.    

Individuals, in contrast, are largely motivated by self interests. If they can get something better at a lower cost, they will have interest. Moreover, if something is "greener" and equal in all other measures, they will make the "right choice" (unless they are brand loyal consumers). However if greener is more expensive, the mental fulcrum shifts to favor the pocket book for most people typically.

In the end, everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die...

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Re: conflicting things
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   6/23/2014 7:33:36 PM
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@Occam Advocate: thanks for weighing in here. Who do you think has the power to change this trajectory? Is it that consumers have to demand better/different? Or is it on the OEM?

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Re: conflicting things
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   6/23/2014 7:32:13 PM
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@FlyingScot, don't get me started about the printer industry that treats printers as consumable--all to sell expensive ink. That's a practice that's going to be hard to stop but it drives me nuts.

Occam Advocate
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Re: conflicting things
Occam Advocate   6/23/2014 5:47:32 PM
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You are spot on.

What is interesting/sad is that reliability is not part of the environmental concerns list. The 3.5 billion people on the top of the food chain don't give much thought to the useful life of products, while for the 3.5 billion on the bottom, reliability is crucial.

If one is making $2 per day, any electronics purchased must have significantly better reliability than  we at the top presently demand. The newer/better product is always just a few months away.

Bernard London's pamphlet "Ending  the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence" published in the early 1930s reads like a play book for present day consumer product companies. 

Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" written around the same time decried the impact of consumerism wherein he disparaged the "new world's" hypnopaedic messaging to the populace that "Ending is better than mending" and "Less stitches means more riches"

There is need to reflect a bit more on the matter in the present day. 

 

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Re: consumer education
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   6/17/2014 8:45:23 PM
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@t.alex, i think enforcement largely doesn't work. I think it has to go the other way. When OEMs start demanding this skill from designers it will start getting written into textbooks. Curriculum is created for saleable skills.

 

FLYINGSCOT
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conflicting things
FLYINGSCOT   6/17/2014 12:56:22 PM
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I get the feelign these days that some manufacturers are not too bothered about how long a product lasts as it is becoming a throw away society.  How many times have you bought a brand new printer just to get the free ink.....scary but true.

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